After screening just a week or so ago at Arrow Video FrightFest, the animated horror film TO YOUR LAST DEATH will be making its way to Provo, Utah to screen at FilmQuest Festival. It’s a film that we’ve described as “a film genre-twist with some great animation that will have any horror or comic book fan happy.” And, we couldn’t recommend it more for genre audiences.
Ahead of TO YOUR LAST DEATH ‘s screening at this year’s FilmQuest Festival, we got the opportunity to chat with writer Tanya C. Klein about the film. During our chat, we discussed everything from how difficult it was to get the animated film off the ground to how the first screening of the film eased her concerns about the film’s release.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with me. I know you’ve been super busy, especially dealing with FrightFest and everything. First off, I want to ask what was the inspiration behind creating this film?
Tanya C. Klein: We (Tanya Klein and Jim Cirile) wanted to start where most horror films end: with the final survivor working her way out of the wreckage after a terrifying adventure… and then send her right back to do it all over again. In general, it was our aim to bring something new and fresh to the horror genre and play with the audience’s expectations.
Because this film is entirely animated, I can’t imagine what all you had to do in order to get it rolling. What difficulties did you have in getting this film off the ground?
Tanya C. Klein: Money, of course, was our biggest difficulty. It’s been quite a hurdle. We couldn’t even afford to hire a local animation house (and that’s despite the fact that a couple of them were kind enough to lower their quote for us significantly). So we essentially ended up building our own production house using freelancers all across the globe – 13 countries and 5 continents – it has been quite a journey.
Wow. That’s amazing. I’m in awe. With all of that hard work you guys put in, what was your favorite moment or part of working on this film?
Tanya C. Klein: Our very first screening. We did a private screening earlier this year in Los Angeles for cast, crew, and friends. And everyone got it. That’s always the biggest fear. You spent years making a movie and may be so close to the project that you can no longer recognize the flaws. You’ll only know how (and if) the film lands once you put it in front of an audience and read the room: are they paying attention? Are they laughing, crying, or gasping in the right places? Are they getting restless? Our first screening [of TO YOUR LAST DEATH ] showed us that the movie works and that’s a huge relief – especially considering how many years we’ve worked on it.
I totally get that. Continuing on the topic of the audience’s response, what do you want the audience to take away from this film?
Tanya C. Klein: Apart from a good amount of scares, we’d like to convey the uneasy feeling that the deck might be stacked against someone and no matter how hard they try, they simply can’t win because there are those who either delight in seeing them suffer or simply don’t care – even if they could lend a hand. In other words: this is the world we live in.
Last but not least, are there any projects you are working on that we should be keeping our eyes out for?
Tanya C. Klein: We have several projects in different stages of development. It looks like our next genre project will be a horror-comedy. However, our first priority right now is to get as many people as possible to see TO YOUR LAST DEATH.
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